Eligibility Categories: Students (Undergraduate and Graduate), Faculty, and Staff
Sponsor or Level: Diversity Council of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences encourages faculty, staff and students to create new opportunities that increase the understanding of, appreciation for, and advocacy of diversity issues. The CALS Diversity Incentive Fund is specifically designed to provide support for new, innovative and creative approaches to raise awareness, engage learners, and change behaviors about diversity and inclusion within the academic community as well as the broader communities that the College serves. Examples of programs that may be supported include lectures, symposia, workshops, conferences, performances, assessment activities, and other innovative approaches for addressing diversity as conceived in the University‘s Principles of Community. The annual Diversity Incentive Fund amount is $2,000. Please note: The fund is not intended to provide support for on-going programs or other activities which are already in existence.

Application: Diversity Incentive Fund Application (DOCX | 108KB)

Eligibility (Who can apply / be nominated)

Faculty, staff, and students in the college may apply. Applicants must be current faculty and staff employees in the college, or students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program of the college, at the time of the nomination and for the period of the funded activity. Self-nominations are encouraged. Previous recipients can reapply for funding.

Selection Criteria (How recipients will be chosen)

A Incentive Fund Review committee made up of faculty, staff, and student members of the CALS Diversity Council will review the applications and make the award selections. The committee will be looking for those opportunities that are innovative, meet a documented need, well-planned, have a good chance for impact, and will engage a significant number of persons. If in the opinion of the Fund Review committee, there are no applications that effectively meet the Fund criteria, the Council reserves the right to not select a recipient.


Requests may be made for up to $2,000. The Council’s Incentive Fund Review Committee may choose to fund multiple awards totaling up to $2000, or to fund one award for a maximum of $2000.
Funding Restrictions

Awards may not be used to fund:

  • Activities that have no obvious benefit to CALS
  • Conference registration or travel expenses (unless a resulting program outcome is planned)
  • Food
  • Entertainment expenses that do not have a clearly defined educational component
  • Travel expenses, except for presenters brought in for a specific activity
  • On-going existing initiatives, classes or programs
  • Research leading to a degree
  • Salaries
  • Stipends to university employees

Submission Details (Where, how and to whom)

Applications are due by July 1 each year. Selections will be announced at the CALS Awards Picnic held each summer. Applications must be submitted electronically to Karen Barnhart (karend@vt.edu). In order for the application to be considered, the applicant should have a university recognized account.

Send or deliver the Award application packet to:

CALS Diversity Council
c/o Karen Barnhart
119 Hutcheson Hall

Contact Information

Isaac Magana, CALS Diversity Council Chair. 540-231-4865, maganai@vt.edu
Karen Barnhart, CALS Diversity Council Recording Secretary. 540-231-5659, karend@vt.edu